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Kürzliche Beiträge
28. September 2011, 23.32 Uhr:

Kurden, Araber und der neue Irak

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Kurden seien vom Mars, Araber von der Venus, meint jedenfalls Hiwa Osma. Etwas übetreiben mag er schon in seiner Gegenüberstellung, aber Unrecht hat er ganz sicher nicht, vor allem, wenn er den Arabern vorwirft, manisch auf die Vergangenheit fixiert, ja förmlich in ihr eingeschlossen, zu sein:

Today, the differences between the two are fairly clear. One feels they own Iraq; that their vision for the future is the correct one that should be followed by others, just like the old days. The other is still fighting for his space in the new country.
One is looking east and one is looking west. One is trying to be as Islamic as possible and the other is trying to be as secular as possible.
One is trying to create a centralized state the other is trying to build a federalized one.
One looks at the Arab world or Iran for inspiration, the other looks at the United States and Europe.
One is looking at the past and the other is looking at the future.
The Arabs of Iraq are mostly locked in the past. The Sunnis are looking to the days of Sunni control of Iraq. The Shia are locked in the Shia oppression of the past. Their present day is defined by this way of thinking.
The Kurds, on the other hand, say and behave in a way that demonstrates their will to be part of the future and the modern world. Words like transparency,www.ekurd.netfreedom of speech and human rights are often heard in Kurdistan and are entering the region’s political dictionary, even if those using the terms don’t fully believe in or understand them.
There is an added complication. The new generation on both sides does not know anything about each other and are held hostage by what occurred in the previous generations.
With all these differences, the two are trying to be partners in one country. It is a monumental task that requires shaking, questioning, changing and redefining the foundations upon which the country is built.
The starting point would be for both to admit that neither of them can be an Iraqi of the new Iraq on their own. Each one needs the other. For this arduous task to begin, both need to understand and acknowledge that in the new Iraq, Kurds are from Mars, Arabs are from Venus.

26. September 2011, 20.30 Uhr:

Erdogan und die Millionen .....

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Ein bißchen hat ihn schon der Größenwahn am Wickel. Er mutiert täglich mehr zum großen Nahostführer, die historische Missionen zu erfüllen haben, im Namen der Unterdrückten oder em auch imme meinen sprechen zu müssen und dann doch (bislang zumindest) meist äußerst unrühmlich endeten:

I’m not only speaking about the 74 million inhabitants who are living in Turkey, who are my citizens … but also the entire population of the Arab world that expects our reaction and our response on this issue.

23. September 2011, 13.12 Uhr:

Bei Assads geht es ans Eingemachte

von Oliver M. Piecha

Das Gemunkel war schon da, daß dem Assad-Regime das Geld langsam ausgeht, seine Bevölkerung am Laufenden Band totzuschießen und wegzusperren ist schließlich teuer. Und vielbeschäftigte Folterer pochen sicherlich auf ihre Sonderzulagen. Jetzt wird es offensichtlich ernst mit der Geldknappheit, die wohl wichtigste Syrienmeldung der letzten Wochen:

Syria Comment:

In a rather dramatic step towards preserving the country’s foreign exchange reserves, Syria’s finance minister announced that new car imports into the country are suspended till further notice. All products that are subject to customs duties of 5 percent and over will be included in the suspension notice. Such products include luxuries including passenger cars. Mr. Al Chaar made the announcement to reporters following the weekly cabinet meeting. The decision was made to “conserve the country’s foreign reserves and to reallocate it to the lower income groups”. The decision was thought to be “preventive and temporary”. As imports of such products are halted, local producers are thought to pick up the slack by increasing domestic production and employment. Raw materials, food and other basic materials will be exempt from the ban. Products that are not locally produced will also be exempt.

Here is the official summary from SANA

For the record, Syria imports approximately 70,000 new cars a year. The country’s car industry is likely to see used car prices soar. This decision will force all new car dealers to close down till the ban is lifted. This is the most dramatic economic development to date since the Syrian events unfolded almost 7 months ago.

23. September 2011, 10.23 Uhr:

Der arabische Frühling bei der UN

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Treffender als jede Polemik oder Analyse fasst diese kleine Anekdote den ganzen herrschenden UN-Sinn:

For Lilia Labidi, minister of women’s affairs since the Tunisian revolution in January, her first giddy exposure to the United Nations rapidly dissipated. Her own appeal to the gathering for help in consolidating gains for women in Tunisia elicited little reaction, with Mrs. Clinton, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and various other female heads of state sweeping out of the meeting on empowering women without stopping for even a hello.

Ms. Labidi, although a guest of the United Nations, decided to go home.

“I cannot live here in such luxury,” she said, noting that the $700-a-day cost of her staying in New York would be better spent on a project for rural women.

“To the degree that the Arab Spring is important, one would have wanted more than a warm welcome and a group photograph — what am I bringing back to the Tunisian women?” she said over breakfast in a Midtown Manhattan coffee shop. “The attention of the world has to be much more engaged in our region.”

Ms. Labidi, a soft-spoken professor of anthropology and clinical psychology, said she found it frustrating that the question she was asked the most by people had little bearing on her projects, like improving girls’ access to elementary school. The question she heard over and over: What effect will the revolution have on Tunisian attitudes toward the Arab-Israeli conflict?

23. September 2011, 10.02 Uhr:

Giftgas in Libyen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Libyan rebel forces claim to have discovered banned chemical weapons stockpiles in southern desert areas captured from Gaddafi loyalists in the last few days.

Libya was supposed to have destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical weapons in early 2004 as part of a British-engineered rapprochement with the west. It also abandoned a rudimentary nuclear programme.

Von  9,5 Tonnen Senfgas, die Gaddafi nicht zerstört habe, ist die Rede. Wie im Irak auch, waren es vor allem deutsche Firmen, die in den 80er Jahren dem libyschen Diktator halfen, Massenvernichtungswaffen herzustellen.

22. September 2011, 17.39 Uhr:

"On the verge of a labor revolt"

von Jörn Schulz

“I see that the workers are assuredly embarking on the road to a general strike”, sagte der ägyptische Gewerkschafter Kamal Khalil. Derzeit streiken zahlreiche Angestellte des öffentlichen Dienstes, unter anderem die Busfahrer in Kairo und die Lehrer. “We can say that 60 to 70 per cent of teachers in all governorates have take part in the strikes and will continue until all demands are met”, berichtet Hala Talaat. Es geht um Löhne und Arbeitsbedingungen, aber auch um die “zweite Revolution”.

“’The very fact that workers have stood against the emergency law, the anti-strike law which criminalises workers’ protests and have defied the spectre of military trials underscores the political nature of their struggle; can we call these economically or factionally driven actions? No, these are first-rate political motives,’ Khalil stressed. (…) He also emphasised that a general strike would only come about through further developments in the structuring and coordination of independent unions. (…) Mostafa Bassouni spoke on the scope of the strikes, stating that since the end of Ramadan, more than half a million workers have gone on strike. He also believed that this was the beginning of a general strike to come.”

Besonders gespannt ist die Stimmung in der Textilarbeiterstadt Mahalla, in der Ende 2006 die Welle illegaler Streiks begann, die maßgeblich zur Bildung einer Widerstandsbewegung gegen das Mubarak-Regime beitrug. Die Stadt sei “on the verge of a labor revolt". “According to news reports, in light of workers’ growing dissatisfaction in various sectors in Egypt, the over 250.000 workers in Mahalla represent a significant threat to the government if it continues its intransigence towards their demands. (…) Observers believe that employees of the Misr Spinning and Weaving Factory could spark another revolution in Egypt.”

22. September 2011, 13.35 Uhr:

Der Weg in den Bürgerkrieg und die deutsche Konfliktprävention

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Konfliktpräventionsprogramme, Ursachenbekämpfung, Friedensförderung. Mit diesen Schlagworten präsentierte sich Deutschland nicht nur jahrelang auf internationaler Bühne als die bessere Alternative zu den kriegslüsternen USA, sondern gab auch noch Abermillionen an Euros an Dutzende von Institute und Think Tanks aus. Und was bringt’s? Der Jemen wird bis heute als “Schwerpunktland deutscher Entwicklungszusammenarbeit” angepriesen. Das Land ist de facto ein failed state und Tag für Tag wird es schlimmer. Ein Thema, irgendwo?

Auf der Homepage der “Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik” etwa stammt der letzte Artikel über den Jemen aus dem April dieses Jahres, der vorhergehende gar vom januar 2010, die Hessische Stiftung für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung präsentiert zum Thema einen einzigen Beitrag aus dem Jahre 2010, GIGA immerhin wartet mit einer Analyse aus dem Juni 2011 auf.

Kurzum: wenn es eeinmal darauf ankäme, erweist sich das ganze Gerede von Ursachenbekämpfung und Konfliktprävention als heiße Luft. Man schaut dem Zerfall des Jemen zu und niemandem fällt dazu irgend etwas nennenswertes ein.

Und der blutige Zerfall schreitet in rasantem Tempo voran:

Street battles raged Thursday between rival troops as well as between warring tribesmen, as violence which has already killed dozens spread across Yemen’s capital, raising the specter of civil war.

The gun battles come after efforts to implement a Gulf-sponsored peace deal failed due to what its sponsors said were the soaring tensions between troops loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and opponents of his regime. (…)

The soaring levels of violence have raised long standing fears that Yemen, which is facing a Shiite rebellion in the north and the growing influence of Al-Qaeda in the south, is slipping towards full blown civil war.

Speaking to AFP late Wednesday, United Nations envoy Jamal Benomar said the deteriorating security situation, and the reluctance of both sides to reach a political resolution, raises “the risk of civil war breaking out.”

An AFP correspondent said the capital has been largely divided in two, with Al-Zubairi Road, a main boulevard in the center of the capital, serving as a demarcation line and the main scene of fighting.

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